About automated bidding

Automated bidding takes the heavy lifting and guesswork out of setting bids to meet your performance goals. Unlike Manual CPC bidding, there’s no need to manually update bids for specific ad groups or keywords. Google Ads automatically sets bids for your ads based on that ad’s likelihood to result in a click or conversion that helps you achieve a specific goal for your business.

Different types of automated bidding strategies can help you increase clicks, visibility and conversions. Automated bid strategies learn as they go, using information about a bid’s performance to inform future bids. Learn how to determine a bid strategy based on your goals

This article describes different business goals and the automated bid strategy that best achieves each goal.

Note: If you’d like to automate your bidding specifically for a Shopping campaign, read About automated bidding for Shopping campaigns.

How Smart Bidding enhances automated bidding for Search campaigns

Smart Bidding leverages the benefits of goal oriented automated bidding and applies them to conversions (clicks converted to purchases or services) and conversion values. It factors in a wide range of auction-time signals that include device, location, time of day, remarketing list, language, and operating system to capture the unique context of every search. Smart Bidding uses a feature called “auction-time bidding”, that sets a bid for every query. Target CPA, Target ROAS, Maximize conversions, and Maximize conversion value are all Smart Bidding strategies. Learn more about smart bidding

Example

Let’s say you want to increase conversions across your campaigns at a CPA goal, but don’t have the time to set an individual max. CPC for each individual keyword. By adding those campaigns to a Target CPA portfolio bid strategy and setting a CPA goal you want to hit, you allow Google Ads to automatically optimize bids using advanced machine learning to get you better performance for your goals.

For more information on how Smart Bidding works, read Your guide to Smart Bidding, About Smart Bidding, Setting Smarter Search Bids.

Types of automated bid strategies

Goal Bid strategy

Increase site visits.

Maximize clicks automatically sets your bids to help get as many clicks as possible within your budget.

Maximize clicks is available as either a standard strategy in a single campaign or portfolio bid strategy across multiple campaigns.

Learn more about Maximize clicks

Learn more about Maximize clicks for Shopping campaigns

Increase visibility.

Target impression share automatically sets bids with the goal of showing your ad on the absolute top of the page, on the top of the page, or anywhere on the page of Google search results.

Target impression share is available on the Search Network only, as either a standard strategy in a single campaign or portfolio bid strategy across multiple campaigns.

Learn more about Target impression share

Get more conversions with your target CPA.

Smart Bidding

Target CPA automatically sets bids to help get as many conversions as possible at the target cost-per-action (CPA) you set. Some conversions may cost more or less than your target.

Target CPA is available as either a standard strategy in a single campaign or portfolio bid strategy across multiple campaigns.

If Maximize conversions or Maximize conversion value is available for your campaign type, we recommend you use that instead of Target CPA.

When you are using Maximize conversion value without a Target CPA set, we will aim to spend your budget to maximize conversion value for your campaigns.

When you are using Maximize conversion value with a Target CPA set, we will help get as much conversion value as possible at the target return on ad spend (ROAS).

Learn more about Target CPA

Meet a target return on ad spend (ROAS) when you value each conversion differently.

Smart Bidding

Target ROAS automatically sets bids to help get as much conversion value as possible at the target return on ad spend (ROAS) you set. Some conversions may have a higher or lower return than your target.

Target ROAS is available as either a standard strategy in a single campaign or portfolio bid strategy across multiple campaigns.

Learn more about Target ROAS

Learn more about Target ROAS for Shopping campaigns

Get more conversions while spending your budget.

Smart Bidding

Maximize conversions bidding will help you optimize towards conversions.

You have the option to set a Target CPA on your Maximize conversions bidding strategy, which means Smart Bidding will try to get as many conversions as possible at the target cost-per-action (CPA) that you set. If the Target CPA option is not set, then Maximize conversions will aim to spend your budget to get as many conversions as possible.

Maximize conversion value bidding will help you optimize towards conversion values. You have the option to set a Target ROAS on your Maximize conversion value bidding strategy, which means Smart Bidding will try to get the highest conversion value possible at the target return on ad spend (ROAS) that you set. If the Target ROAS option is not set, then Maximize conversion value will aim to spend your budget to drive as much conversion value as possible.

Maximize conversion values emphasizes the area you want to maximize, but limits spending to your specified budget

See Maximize conversions vs Maximize conversion value

Learn more about Maximize conversions

Get more conversion value while spending your budget.

Smart Bidding

Maximize conversion value automatically sets bids to help you get the most conversion value for your campaign while spending your budget.

Maximize conversion values emphasizes the area you want to maximize, but limits spending to your specified budget.

When you are using Maximize conversion value without a Target ROAS set, we will aim to spend your budget to maximize conversion value for your campaigns.

When you are using Maximize conversion value with a Target ROAS set, we will help get as much conversion value as possible at the target return on ad spend (ROAS).

When you create a Maximize conversion value bid strategy, you can set a Target ROAS (return on ad spending).

See Maximize conversions vs Maximize conversion value

Learn more about Maximize conversion value

Create an automated bid strategy

You can create an automated bid strategy for a single campaign (standard strategy) or multiple campaigns (portfolio bid strategy) in the following ways:

  • Create with a new campaign.
  • Create or change from campaign settings.
  • Create a portfolio strategy from the Shared library “Bid strategies” page.

To create a bid strategy, read Set up Smart Bidding.

Tip: If you are still not sure how each bidding strategy works, read Finding success with Smart Bidding.

The power of Smart Bidding

Smart Bidding is a set of conversion-based bid strategies—Target CPA, Target ROAS and Enhanced CPC—that use advanced machine learning to help you tailor the right bid to each and every auction. It factors in a wide range of auction-time signals including device, location, time of day, remarketing list, language, and operating system to capture the unique context of every search.

For more information on how Smart Bidding works, read About Smart Bidding or download our Display Smart Bidding Guide.

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